Urgent help needed. Dd came home with a goldfish from the fair!!

(11 Posts)
Morrigu Mon 10-Jun-13 20:34:42

Ex-bil took her out over the weekend to the fair and she won a goldfish. Exbil has his heart in the right place just doesn't think things through fgs.

So now we have a goldfish. Currently he is residing in a very small tank. I worked it out by measurements as 3 gallons which I know is wholly inadequate for a goldfish from the quick skimming on the internet today but it was the best I could do at such short notice.

So I'm heading to the store tomorrow and need to know what to get.

Obviously a bigger tank. Is it about 20 gallons?
Gravel - what size as I read too small and they can choke? Do they anything else in their tank?
Stuff to take the chlorine and stuff out of tap water?
Anything else? temperature gauge, air pump and filter (I take it the blue spongy thing is the filter that's there?
I bought flakes but is it better to buy pellets? How much and often do you feed?
What do you clean the tank with?
Obviously I haven't been able to do a fishless cycle so how do I work it now without the fish dying?
Not sure I really understand this ammonia/bacteria thing anyway could someone explain like I'm five?

This is all going to cost a fortune isn't it sad

Also I had to do something today. I had Chips (fishy's name) in dd's room and didn't put the air filter or pump in as I was dubious about electrics and water together in her room. A friend reassured me they didn't need it, she has two herself, but I found out otherwise so I wanted to add them in and move the tank to the family room. I lifted him out with about half/three quarters of the present water. Washed the tank out with water and put in the filter and air pump with about third to half fresh water that had been sitting out all out to get to room temp. Then added Chips and his water in. Is that ok??

Any other linkys or info is much appreciated. So so sorry for the loads of questions. I did look to see if they had a 'goldfish keeping for dummies' book but apparently not grin

Am actually really cross they still give goldfish away at fairs. I thought all that had been stopped.

I need 'goldfish for dummys' I have a thread in Chat with answers if you want a read of that

Morrigu Mon 10-Jun-13 21:06:26

Thank SP I'll take a trot over now

Eau Rouge and the fishy experts will be along soon to help you out with some useful info I am sure smile

There is a link to the ammonia question here www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_51/fishless-cycling-article.htm

Because you don't have the option to do a fish-less cycle you will need to do a lot of water changes - adding a de-chlorinator to the water (you can get these on-line or in pet shops etc.

This is some stuff about goldfish size and space needed here www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_74/goldfish-size-life-expectancy.htm

But a cheaper interim thing you can do is to buy a big plastic storage box from Staples (it has to be food grade plastic) then put your filter into it and keep him in there. Eventually Chips will need an upgrade but it's cheaper while you can look around for a cheap big tank on freecycle etc.

Hope this helps!

EauRouge Mon 10-Jun-13 21:10:13

Oh god, not another one! I wish bloody fairs would bloody stop giving away an animal that can grow a foot long and live 20 years.

It doesn't have to cost a fortune, you can get second hand tanks very cheap or even free. Try ebay, local free ads, freecycle, even the local tip. There are always people selling tanks. For a single common goldfish (normal fish shaped one) you'll need 40 gallons as a minimum. You could get a 20 as an interim but it won't last him forever. Commons are actually better off in a pond. If it's a fancy goldfish (fat round ones with long fins) then he'll need a 30 gallon and won't be able to live in a pond.

You might get lucky with a second hand filter on ebay, you'll need a large one because goldfish are full of poo.

Gravel does need to be of a size that won't stick in their mouth. It also needs to be smooth because they like to dig. Alternatively you could get sand and then you won't need to worry about it getting stuck.

The ammonia thing sounds complicated but isn't really. It goes like this: Fish poo, wee and breath out ammonia (NH3) which is really toxic. Bacteria living in the filter turn ammonia into nitrIte (NO2) which is still toxic, but not quite as bad. Different bacteria in the filter turn nitrIte into nitrAte (NO3) which is only toxic at really high levels. The thing that keeps the nitrAte level down is you doing water changes.

Here's what you need- tank, filter, water testing kit, sand/gravel, something to decorate the tank, food (flakes are OK for now), dechlorinator.

You don't need- an air pump (some fish like them, but they're not essential), any kind of magic potion that claims to instantly cycle the tank or make the water shiny or any other such nonsense. There's a lot of rubbish products on sale.

I won't make this post any longer grin there are lots of good articles here. Good luck to you and Chips!

EauRouge Mon 10-Jun-13 21:30:37

If you're in Cambs, an ad just popped up on FB for a 4ft tank with stand for £15.

Morrigu Mon 10-Jun-13 21:31:06

It looks like a common one to me.

grin I feel like a total muppet. I was getting myself that uptight I didn't realise it was the nitrogen cycle. Having just re-sat and passed biology A-level two years ago I should have. It's ok I gettit now.

Thank you both so much for the info and links. I will be probably be back to torture you with further questions at some stage.

Morrigu Mon 10-Jun-13 21:31:58

No, no-where near it unfortunately but I'll be keeping an eye out now.

EauRouge Mon 10-Jun-13 21:39:01

There you go then, understanding the nitrogen cycle means that you already know more than 99% of other newbies grin Feel free to torture us with more questions! Goldfish are lovely pets if they're looked after well.

Eau could you nip over to chat and help me over there please?

I dont understand the scientific side.

EauRouge Mon 10-Jun-13 21:56:04

Just did! I posted a link that should help you out. It's got cartoon bacteria and everything.

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